I had a dish very similar to this when on holiday in North Croatia near Zadar.
We went to a tiny restaurant based inside a farmers garden in the open air.
You had to order the lamb a couple of days before dining. Our host was so friendly and generous. He served us a platter of Mussels as a starter then between 4 of us we shared a whole shoulder of lamb. The lamb was slow cooked in a clay bell under hot coals on top of the potatoes so the lamb fat softened the potatoes slowly.
This summer I bought a wood fired oven for the garden and started cooking a very similar recipe in the wood fired oven which came out amazingly tender with a slight charring on top making it taste pretty damn amazing.
Below is the recipe as I’ve done in a normal kitchen oven, however the wood fired oven is just as easy if you have one and is probably faster, you just have to wait till the initial fire goes out and then leave the lamb in basting it every now and again for 2 or so hours.
I quite like to serve this with peppers and vine tomatoes roasted in the oven with sat, pepper, olive oil and a drop of balsamic vinegar or poached buttered asparagus finished in the oven.
1 shoulder of lamb
5-6 medium sized potatoes
1 stick of celery
6-8 cloves of garlic
Sprigs of rosemary, thyme, parsley.
1/2 a glass of White wine.
- Pre-heat your oven to maximum.
2. Roughly cut up the onion and celery and place into the bottom of a roasting tin (preferably a roasting tin that has a lid).
3. Peel the garlic cloves but leave them whole and add to the roasting pan.
4. Peel the potatoes and also add them to the roasting tin.
5. Add the sprigs of herbs.
6. Add the water and white wine.
7. Season with salt pepper and paprika.
8. Score lines on the fatty side of the lamb.
9. Season the lamb and pour over olive oil then rub the oil and the seasoning into the lamb.
10. Place lid onto pan or cover in foil if you have no lid. Place into the oven and lower the temperature to 150 degrees C.
11. Leave in for 3 to 4 hours until the lamb is soft enough to break up with a spoon and has come off the bone.